Virginia’s Fairfax County School Board has delayed the start of the school year to allow teachers and staff more time to plan for changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an online meeting on Thursday, the board postponed the first day of school for students by two weeks, from Aug. 25 to Sept. 8.
Board members said the move is to provide additional time to plan instruction, allow for professional staff development and to finalize transportation and other operational details.
Fairfax County School Board member Karl Frisch said he was first opposed to the changes, saying he thought that “bumps in the road” would happen no matter when they started.
But after talking to teachers and staff over the last few days, he changed his mind.
“They have convinced me that without additional time to set the master schedules, the results would be calamitous and far from the bumps in the road just mentioned,” Fisch said.
Fairfax County School Board member Megan McLaughlin said the delay is not ideal, but it’s necessary.
“It’s one that I believe all 12 of us on the board are wrestling with knowing the impact it has, especially how much we want our children to get back into school, but we absolutely have to get this right,” McLaughlin said.
Fairfax County Public Schools is the largest school system in Virginia.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a school board member’s name.
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